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New York Interior Design School Overviews with Degree Information

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, New York has 17 schools that offer interior design programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

In New York, interior design studies are typically offered through fine arts programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Certificates and degree program minors are also available. Courses cover 2- and 3-D design, computer-aided design applications, drafting, color, lighting, materials, furniture and building codes. In addition, students often complete studio courses and may participate in an internship or a cooperative work experience to gain hands-on training in the field. To round out their course of study, students might complete a major project or develop a portfolio.


Cazenovia College

This Cazenovia college is located in Central New York, and through the Division of Art and Design, students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. The degree requires 126 credits to complete and consists of a general education core, 69 credits of major coursework and electives. Coursework specific to interior design includes topics in building codes and construction, residential design, drafting, lighting and finishing. Students also attend a design portfolio course and participate in an internship. Qualified graduates can sit for the NCIDQ certification exam.

Fashion Institute of Technology

At the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, students in the School of Art and Design can pursue an Associate in Applied Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation approves both programs.

The associate's degree program requires a total of 72 credits and includes major coursework in, among other topics, color, lighting and materials. Students in their final semester also have the chance to work on a building conversion plan, and the credits are fully transferred to the Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program complete 65 credits of coursework, including a senior project that they submit to a panel of interior design professionals. Additional program features include advanced design applications for government buildings, houses of worship, stores and townhouses.

Marist College

Marist College in Poughkeepsie, in partnership with its Italian International Institute in Florence, offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. The 120-credit program, taught entirely in English, includes a general education core and approximately 51 credits in interior design. Students can specialize in either architectural history or interior design, and the requirements include core courses in contemporary interiors, computer-aided design (CAD) and drawing.

Undergraduates who pursue the 12-credit track in architectural history learn about Renaissance building styles and study landscape, urban and villa architecture. The interior design track also requires 12 credits to complete, and in addition to CAD and computer rendering, students can take electives in exhibition, furniture and lighting design.

Monroe Community College

Rochester's Monroe Community College provides aspiring interior designers with the opportunity to earn an associate's degree in interior design. The associate's degree program requires 67-69 credits to complete and includes a 4-course, interior design sequence and studies in 2-D and 3-D design. Through the professional studies courses, students can also participate in a cooperative education experience, acquire public-speaking skills and learn about state building codes. Qualified graduates may be able to transfer to the New York School of Interior Design, the Rochester Institute of Technology or Syracuse University.

New York Institute of Technology

Through the School of Architecture and Design at the Old Westbury campus, the New York Institute of Technology offers a CIDA-accredited undergraduate program in interior design. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the field that, in addition to a general education core, requires courses in architecture, environmental systems and the fine arts. Coursework specific to interior design includes topics in design history and philosophy, business, color and construction. Students also learn how to create working drawings, solve interior design problems and develop lighting strategies. The 131-credit program culminates in a 4-credit senior project.

Pace University

In New York, students at Pace University (Dyson College of Arts and Sciences) can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a concentration in interior design. The program requires 128 credit hours to complete and includes a general education and a fine arts core, as well as 24 credits of major electives. To fulfill the 30-credit art core, undergraduates study 3-D and digital design, drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking.

A total of eight courses, taken under advisement, are required for the concentration. In addition to topics in color and lighting, these may include an introduction to interior design and a study of furniture styles, color and lighting.

Pratt Institute

The Pratt Institute's School of Art and Design in Brooklyn offers both a CIDA-accredited undergraduate degree in interior design, as well as a 16-credit minor. The Bachelor of Fine Arts includes courses in 3-D and 4-D design, architectural drawing and the use of AutoCAD. During the final two years of the program, students complete a sequence in building construction, develop a portfolio and conduct research. The requirements for the minor include core courses in color and lighting and electives in furniture and sustainable design, CAD and textiles.

Pratt also offers a 48-credit Master of Science in Interior Design that can be completed in two years of full-time study. The course topics are similar to those found in the undergraduate curriculum, and the program culminates in an exhibition design or a thesis. Pratt also offers a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Students can also find a CIDA-approved program at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Bachelor of Fine Arts is offered through the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and requires 122 credits to complete. In addition to a general education core, the curriculum includes courses in 2-D and 3-D design, drawing, digital graphics, color and lighting.

In the third and fourth years, students also learn about materials and specifications and find out how to prepare contract documents. Unique to the program are courses in hospitality, multi-purpose and office design, as well as a 3-credit course in career planning and professional practices.

Syracuse University

At this major university in Syracuse, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental and Interior Design, a 126-credit program that also has been accredited by CIDA. The program is offered through the College of Visual and Performing Arts and helps students acquire the training they need to design interiors for residential, commercial and public spaces. Course topics include those in art history, graphics, drafting and the use of materials. In addition to a study of professional practices, undergraduates learn about architectural systems and the historical context of design, both before and after the year 1600.

The New School

The New School in Manhattan offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in interior design. The 65-credit associate's program includes a fast-track option that allows for 31 credits of transferable credits and requires over 30 credits of major coursework in environmental and interior design, color theory, drawing and studio work.

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program must complete 134 credits, including up to 67 credits in transferable credits, six design studios and courses in global design and world architecture.

The 60-credit Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design can be completed in two years of full-time study and provides students with advanced-level coursework in studio work, theory, environmental technology and fabrication processes. The degree plan culminates in a 9-credit thesis studio.

Career Requirements

In New York State, only licensed professionals can use the Certified Interior Designer title. To qualify for a license, applicants must pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Examination and be at least 21 years old. In addition, they must have a total of seven years of academic and professional experience, including a minimum of two years of postsecondary training at an approved interior design program and no less than two years of supervised work experience in the field.

Approved programs include those that have been accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Equivalent programs that offer coursework in specific content areas totaling 30 credit hours for an associate's program or 48 credit hours for a bachelor's degree may also qualify. Below is an overview of the ten largest private, not-for-profit and public colleges that offer degrees in interior design, as well as a comparison table that shows each school's program offerings and tuition costs.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Interior Design Degree Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Cazenovia College 4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $31,754*
Fashion Institute of Technology 4-year, public, primarily associate's; large city Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
$5,230 in-state; $14,230 out-of-state*
Marist College 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $33,840*
Monroe Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design $4,554 in-state; $8,354 out-of-state*
New York Institute of Technology 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $33,480*
Pace University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art (concentration in interior design) $41,333*
Pratt Institute 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design,
Minor in Interior Design,
Master of Science in Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
Undergraduate: $46,586*,
Graduate: $30,570*
Rochester Institute of Technology 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $37,124*
Syracuse University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental and Interior Design $43,318*
The New School 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design
Undergraduate: $43,813*,
Graduate: $41,250*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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